Feb 28, 2006

Flyleaf - Interview

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

On February 28, 2006, I got the opportunity to do an in-person interview with Flyleaf members Pat Seals (bass) & Sameer Bhattacharya (guitar). Flyleaf are an interesting band that mix heavy guitars with passionate vocals, & they are a christian rock band too! Generally, I tend to shun Christian rock acts, because they usually are trying to push their agenda on the listener & I don't like that, but Flyleaf are quite different! They produce positive messages & unique pov's that make the listener alert, aware, & intent of the bands vibe. As I was whisked away from the crowd that was waiting to get inside the venue, I was taken to a plush dressing room where some of the Flyleaf members were hanging out...the band & their crew are really down to earth, nice people & I can't thank them enough for making me feel very welcome amongst them. Now, without anymore banter, here's the interview:

Rock N Roll Experience: How has the Shinedown/Seether tour been so far?

Pat: It's been really cool man.

Rock N Roll Experience: What's your favorite song to play live?

Pat: Probably "So I Thought"

Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think of the song "So Sick", which is my personal favorite off the record.

Pat: It's very cool man, it's kind of hard to play...it's one of the harder ones to play I guess, but it's alot of fun & you can definitely see & feel the crowd lighting up, so that is like the most familiar song to everyone I guess.

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Rock N Roll Experience: How have the crowds been reacting to Flyleaf on this current tour?

Pat: I don't know..it's been mixed, like some alot of people are real into it & some are just waiting for us to get off the stage, but it's been good overall

Rock N Roll Experience: How do you feel about Flyleaf being tagged a Christian Rock band?

Pat: I don't know..I guess it really shouldn't fit..I don't think we fit in the Christian category as like a style, but we are Christians & I guess you can't escape that...I don't know..it doesn't really matter to me, like the real people who care about the music will appreciate us for our music & I'm not ashamed of being a Christian, so...

Rock N Roll Experience: Tell me about the artwork for the new CD

Pat: Our label kinda commissioned this guy to either produce or find some cover-art & a friend of his kind of came up with this design & he photoshopped a photograph of a boy into this kind of plane, & to me it like....it has some spiritual symbolism I guess, that we are all...like God kind of carries us through this world...I guess that is what the birds are I guess...they have that ability to fly, which we don't & the boy's kinda suspended above.

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you write any lyrics, or is that all Lacey's doing?

Pat: It's mostly Lacey & Sameer..I've written some of them, like one song on this new album

Rock N Roll Experience: How come the lyrics are not printed in their entirety on the CD?

Pat: I'm not sure man, I think on one edition they are, but I don't know...we had a ridiculous amount of thank yous...bits & phrases are put in the booklet, but when that was getting done we were just like, oh well, whatever ha ha...well, I was lol

Rock N Roll Experience: How did you get Dave Navarro to play on the new CD?

Pat: He played on the record after we had stopped recording actually & as the record was being mixed & Dave Navarro happened to be in the studio where it was getting mixed & I think our producer kind of worked that out, but..

Rock N Roll Experience: Has Dave played live with you yet?

Pat: Oh no, we've never met him.

Rock N Roll Experience: The song "Cassie" is about Columbine & the media blamed Marilyn Manson for alot of that..how do you feel about that?

Pat: I don't personally, I think overall, it was those 2 boys decision to do what they did & I've listened to Marilyn Manson & I've seen every violent movie you can think of & I think they....I don't think the media can have that power unless you're extremely brainwashed by something else, but yeah...I don't agree with that sentiment, just personally, from the information I know. I think Marilyn Manson does what he does & you can see it & take it or leave it & those boys (Dylan & Klebold) decision was of their own accord

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Rock N Roll Experience: Would Flyleaf ever tour with Marilyn Manson, since you're a Christian band & Manson ha ha ha, is not.

Pat: I wouldn't mind it ha ha, I mean, like I've seen him in interviews & whatever & I've heard other things, but it would just be like another tour I guess, I'm not like, Oh No, we can't do that, or...I think our music is for everybody to hear & I'm sure his crowd wouldn't like us very much ha ha, but it would be cool

Rock N Roll Experience: Is it ever hard at times having a female singer?

Pat: In some ways..I think, like when you turn on the TV, females are like....all of the commercials of GIrls Gone Wild...females are objects & ...

Rock N Roll Experience: But they also have Boys Gone Wild now too ha ha

Pat: Yeah, yeah...

Rock N Roll Experience: But you know that guys are still the one's who are buying that crap too!

Pat: ha ha, yeah, I don't know..when Lacey steps on the stage in some places, people think, Oh, this woman is here to entertain me & take off your shirt & whatever & that just makes me really mad. I guess in that way, it is hard to overcome that, are you guys gonna be a sissy band or something & I don't know, but I think anyone who watches will go away with what they think & like hopefully that is something good & something they wouldn't have thought before.

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you have a certain song you always close with every night?

Pat: We always close with "Cassie"

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you do anything special when you play it live?

Pat: Sometimes Lacey will say what it is about before we play it & that is very special...the first time she did that was in Denver & so it was....being so close to that kind of..where it happened, it made it very...like you could feel a rush in the room in a very positive way, so it was cool...I guess that is the only special thing.

Rock N Roll Experience: Was "Cassie" actually written write after the Columbine tragedy or was it a long time afterwards?

Pat: It was right after..Lacey felt inspired by that story & she wrote the lyrics & kind of had an idea how it went & the song was very, very different from the version it is now & it was just Lacey & it's changed over the years, but.

Rock N Roll Experience: How was the original version of "Cassie"?

Pat: It was real soft, acoustic & I heard a recording of it, but it was cool.

Rock N Roll Experience: Would you ever do an unplugged session?

Pat: Yeah...we have..it's not my favorite thing, but Lacey & Sameer do real good acoustic versions.